A new study conducted by Oceana, the Danish newspaper Søndagsavisen, and the TV program “Go’Aften Denmark” found that there is a high level of sea fraud in Danish markets. The study revealed that 18 percent of cod sold in fishmongers is not cod, but actually haddock or saithe. In total, 120 samples from fishmongers, supermarkets, and restaurants in the wider Copenhagen region underwent DNA analysis.
- Researchers say that some sharks in the Gulf of Mexico are decreasing in size, and in some cases are down by as much as 70 percent. The researchers analyzed data from annual shark rodeos over the last half century to come to the results, and say that finning and commercial fishing are significant factors in this decline. Houston Chronicle
Earlier this week, Oceana in Europe launched their second expedition to the Canary Islands. This expedition focuses on the waters around the island of El Hierro, which is expected to become the first marine national park in Spain. This one-month campaign aims to map seamounts north of Lanzarote, the easternmost Canary Island, and around Sahara, the southernmost point of the Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone.
- Tiny larvae clownfish are capable of traveling vast distances—up to 250 miles in search of a new coral home, according to a recent study. Researchers say that this will help the species deal with climate change. The Guardian
Earlier this month, Oceana in Chile presented a recovery plan for common hake, a severely overexploited species, to the Chilean government. Among the recommendations, the recovery plan stresses the importance of protecting juvenile common hake and setting a minimum catch size of about 15 inches. Common hake catches have declined by 70 percent from 2001 to 2013.
- Researchers have discovered that the “pink spot” on leatherback sea turtles’ heads may actually play a useful physiological role. It may detect sunlight patterns, clueing leatherbacks into changes in seasonal patterns to inform their migrational and foraging habits. Smithsonian
- According to a study published last week, scientists have found fossil evidence of the first semi-aquatic dinosaur. Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, known to prey on sharks, is the largest predatory dinosaur known to roam Earth— even bigger than T. rex specimens. The Washington Post
Today, seven sharks and ray species have gained international protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), making it a wonderful day for shark and ray conservation. This means that seven new species have been added to CITES’ Appendix II, which regulates their global trade in an effort to prevent overexploitation.
If you’re driving through the Myrtle Beach area over the next month, be sure to keep an eye out for several Oceana billboards in the area.
- In a remarkable rescue, members of an orca pod helped save one of their own from fishing gear off New Zealand. Rescuers say the pod pushed the orca, who was carrying a 77-pound cray pot line, to the ocean’s surface to breath, and rescuers were then able to take over to free her from the gear. The Dodo